Sons of God and Daughters of Men
This article appeared in the May 24th, 2007 edition of the Cottonwood Chronicle.
© 05.21.07 By D. Eric Williams
In Genesis 6:2-4 we read the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were good looking. And they took wives for themselves from all whom they chose. (3) And Jehovah said, ‘My spirit shall not always strive with man, in his erring; he is flesh. Yet his days shall be a hundred and twenty years.' (4) There were giants in the earth in those days. And also after that, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore to them, they were mighty men who existed of old, men of renown.
There are some who suggest this passage describes inbreeding between angels and humans with the resulting progeny being giants or "super heros." However, such an interpretation does not do justice to the biblical witness.
The passage itself simply says God had determined not to restrain sin any longer but to bring judgement after a 120 year grace period because there was no end in sight to man's sinfulness; Man is of the earth and without the redemptive intervention of God there can be no intimacy between the heavenly and the earthly.
Moreover, the term translated as giant is "nephilim" which means "fallen" or "feller" (one who causes to fall). The last portion of verse four can be understood as "warriors of infamy." In other words, the offspring of these sons of God and daughters of men were not superhuman crossbreeds but depraved men who were tyrants notorious for their brutality.
Jesus aids our understanding of the passage in saying angelic beings do not marry nor are they given in marriage (Matt. 22:30, Mark 12:25). In other words, they are nonsexual; they do not cohabit nor produce offspring. The example of creation also shows God does not allow different "kinds" to inbreed and produce young; there is no such thing as a snake-wolf hybrid for instance.
Who then are these "sons of god" and "daughters of men?" Well, the first clue to their identity is given in Genesis 4:26 where we read that after Seth's son Enos was born, "men began to call upon the name of the Lord." The passage literally says, "then begin call the name Jehovah" and most likely should be translated as "at that time men began to be called by the name of Jehovah." In other words, at that time, the followers of God were labeled as "Jehovahites," "Yahwehians" or more simply, "Children (sons) of God." This is the name we are given as followers of Jesus Christ in the New Covenant era. Romans 8:14-16 tells us, For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. ...(16) The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God (see also, John 1:12, 11:52, Rom. 8:21, 9:8, 1John 3:1-10, 5:2). In short, the "sons of God" in Genesis chapter six are the members of the pre-deluge "Church." As such, we can be confident they enjoyed the blessings of technological advancement, intellectual attainment, and political arrangement far exceeding those of their ungodly counterparts (cf. Deut. 4:6, 8:18, 28:1-14, 1 Kings 4:1-34, Prov. 10:22 and so on).
Therefore, the passage is telling us members of the primeval Church married apostate women and bore children who had the advantages of a godly heritage without the moral sense; children who "spoke the language of heathens" and cared not for the things of God (Neh. 13:24). These unholy offspring (known as The Fallen), utilized the superior accomplishments of their fathers to gain power and terrorize their fellows.
Next week: those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.